Learning to Practice on Days of Resistance
One of the secrets to sustaining your practice over time is learning to motivate yourself on days when you really, really, really don’t feel like it.
Truth be told, your most challenging days are actually when your practice is most beneficial.
There are 2 reasons for this.
- Your practice enhances your ability to be clear, focused and grounded which you need the most on your wild and crazy days;
- Your internal resistance (whether physical, emotional or mental) is usually a sign that a deeper pattern in you is being stimulated, challenged and upgraded.
Resistance, strong emotions or a chatty mind do not mean that you are a bad at meditation or yoga. Really, these are just natural parts of being a human. Over time, your mind and emotions will become easier to deal with, but that’s not actually the purpose of meditation.
7 Tips To Sustaining Your Practice in Trying Times
On your most challenging days, the following tips may help you out:
- Schedule a practice time and stick with it. You will be more successful if you don’t allow yourself to negotiate, even if on days where you only have 10 minutes to practice. If you are consistent, the 10 minutes will quickly grow into 15, then 20…
- Create a practice space for yourself that you love. Keep your room warm and clean, and decorate with plants, candles, incense, quotes or pictures that inspire you.
- Don’t take your mind or your emotions too seriously or psycho-analyze yourself. Honestly, it’s natural to feel angry, sad, disappointed, afraid or depressed sometimes. Let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling without trying to fix it or make it go away… but don’t let it stop you from your own self-commitment.
- Start your practice with an invigorating tea that suits your dosha, such as brahmi, tulsi, raspberry, ginger, roasted dandelion, decaf chai or triphala.
- Experiment with essential oils. I like to apply a single drop of sandalwood oil between my eyebrows to bring calm and clarity, stimulate the third eye and enhance meditation. You may also choose other oils such as frankincense, eucalyptus, rose, vanilla or cedar in your diffuser.
- Taking care of your leading dosha helps balance your mind and emotions. For example, high vata may express itself as agitation and anxiety, while high kapha may express itself as a lack of motivation and depressed. Working with ayurveda allows you to recognize when certain elements of your body need extra care (like at the change of the seasons).
- On days when you have more time, reward yourself after practice with a long shavasana (corpse pose). This regenerative pose helps reduce stress and enhances the benefits of your practice.
The Bottom Line: When the going gets tough, it’s never the right time to quit. Train yourself to stick to your goals with both self-compassion and firm resolution.
I promise that your dedication to cultivating neutrality through all your inner storms are already bringing great benefits to your career, your relationships or your health goals.
About the Author
Briya Freeman has been teaching courses in meditation and natural healing since 2011, including The Bloom Project, an online course for women in self-healing and radiant living.
Briya is a long-term student of Berdhanya Swami Tierra, a female mystic and shaman of South American origin. She also holds studies in ayurveda at Anjali School of Ayurveda (Kerala, India) and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Ottawa.